Greening the Horse Stud Business

Good management plus protection of land and water resources are all factors relevant to environmentally responsible horse stud farming to reach both a business end game and correct sustenance of Australia’s vulnerable environment. Our water resources support a variety of important environmental features including wetlands, vegetation, caves, streams, springs and seeps. They are also used to supply public drinking, stock, irrigation, industry and domestic garden waters. Inappropriate land uses can harm the quality of Western Australia’s limited and valuable water resources as well as its unique and diverse fauna and flora. Horses produce nutrient-rich waste that can cause problems within the community if chemicals and microorganisms leach into the soil and groundwater or run off into water courses.

Horses also can cause land degradation (compaction, erosion), weed spread, dust and other hygiene problems if not managed properly. The breeding of pests such as rodents and flies can also cause concern. Careful consideration needs to be given to design and management of holding facilities, stocking rates and the collection and disposal of wastes so that impacts to land and water resource quality are limited. It is important that the horse industry flourish while not damaging the environment.

By using suitable land and water management measures etc and by incorporating appropriate stocking rates, horse activities can achieve minimal environmental impact. Management practices have been prepared to promote knowledge and understanding of potential environmental impact from horse activities. The keeping of horses is generally guided by zoning restrictions within local government planning schemes. These zonings account for the general planning requirements.

More specific conditions may apply in environmentally sensitive areas where special conditions apply. Proponents wishing to keep or use horses contrary to these conditions need to demonstrate to local government, the WRC and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that their proposed activities include measures that prevent adverse impacts on the environment.

Horse keeping is incompatible with management objectives and is opposed in these areas. The only exception where approval may be given is for horses on large pastoral leases. For trail riding outside public road reserves, WRC written permission is required. Horse facilities are considered a conditional land use, i.e. special stocking rate limits apply. Normal approval processes should be followed. Horses are compatible with management objectives, provided standard stocking rates are applied. Horses should not be kept or allowed access to within 200 metres of wetlands (contact WRC if unsure about a wetland’s category)

Horses should be kept away from wetlands and seasonally boggy areas, with a minimum distance of at least 30 metres from the banks of permanent or ephemeral streams and rivers which have bank slopes less than the pre-ordained level as per regulation policy, and 50 metres for streams and rivers whose banks have similar levels.

Horses should be kept as far away as practicable from these areas, with a minimum fenced buffer distance of at least 30 metres from water supply wells and farm dams; Horses should be kept away from swampy or seasonally water-covered ground, with a minimum distance of at least 1.2 metres above the highest annual groundwater table level. A sand pad may be used to increase the distance from the groundwater table provided it is acceptable to the LGA and it is not located where stormwater runoff can erode the pad.

Horses should not be kept on “Bush Forever” sites. Information on “Bush Forever” sites can be obtained from the Department for Planning and Infrastructure (DPI). The keeping of horses among remnant vegetation is considered equivalent to clearing. Further advice can be obtained from the DEP about areas covered by Environmental Protection Policies and the clearing of remnant vegetation.

Stables sited on sandy soils or in an environmentally sensitive area, need floors and wash down areas constructed with a water resistant hard-stand such as concrete or compacted limestone. These should comply with building regulations and the local government by-laws. Most local governments require an impervious hard-stand for stables on all soil types. The use of impervious hard-stands or rolled, compacted limestone is encouraged as it will reduce the concentration of nutrients in the leachate from manure, urine and wood waste reaching the groundwater. If compacted limestone is used, it should have a minimum depth of 300 millimeters. Straw, clean white sand, river sand or wood waste may be used as a soft absorbent overlay to improve the comfort and well-being of horses. The use of creosote and oil treated wood in the construction of stables exposed to the weather should be avoided where practical. Toxic elements may leach from the treated wood into the groundwater.

The level of contaminants from horse waste reaching groundwater and surface water will depend on a number of factors. These include rainfall/ irrigation patterns, manure management, land slope and soil type. Leachate and runoff from horse waste will infiltrate and contaminate groundwater and surface water resources if the waste is poorly managed. Horse manure can also create hygiene and fly problems.

Where practical, manure should be collected daily then contained and covered, especially if rain is anticipated. Manure stored prior to removal off-site or for composting as fertilizer should be covered with a waterproof cover on a low permeability surface to prevent fly breeding, liquid waste runoff and discharge to ground. Manure storage areas should be designed to hold all manure collected prior to disposal or use. Worm drenches given to horses can kill non-target organisms such as dung beetles and earthworms when it leaches out of manure and urine. The active ingredient in some of the wormers can also pose a serious contamination risk to water resources.

Horses should also be kept away from watercourses for at least two days after the drenching. If it is necessary to worm during that time of the year, use a wormer containing ‘lvermectin’ as the active ingredient, which research has shown to have a less detrimental effect on the environment compared to other commercial products.



Chic Ranchers & Their Abodes

Horse ranchers and equestrian eventers take pride of their locations. These places attract quite an attention from both guests and horse enthusiasts alike. This in turn makes it important to make sure that the place is ready to accept guests at any given time. Interior design plays a very important role for horse ranchers & equestrian eventers in their homes & businesses. Let us consider a few of the many interior design ideas that can be applied by chic ranchers in the present.

You will not be finding any shortage of horse ranches when you look them up over the internet today. The famous ones often come from the celebrities themselves. For example, a celebrity horse ranch was once owned by Jim Wilson, the Academy Award winning producer of ‘Dances With Wolves. The ranch features a pretty impressive 190-acre equestrian property in the hills above Los Angeles. This is of course, something that you can expect coming from a celebrity ranch.

If you want to dial it back up, you can consider a transitional ranch design that is being featured in many articles. Designers often make use of natural finishes and colors to compliment the beautiful desert area the home is settled in. Furthermore, they utilize a mixtures of elements throughout the interior of the home to mirror the delicate balance nature brings to the outdoors. Last but definitely not the least is the use of warm colors, fabrics, textures, soft and hard edges and mixtures of metal, wood and stone which many deem to be important elements in design the ranch itself.

Equestrian eventers are aware that they will be attracting a huge number of individuals during race events and as such, they need to make sure that the location is able to hold a considerable amount of attendees. The Indoor Equestrian Event Arena for the Kentucky Horse Park was designed to attract world class equestrian events; it hosted the World Equestrian Games in 2010. The arena comprises amenities such as concessions, meeting rooms and exhibition spaces. The multi-purpose facility with a rigging capacity of 120,000 pounds can accommodate events such as concerts, trade shows and conventions.

Depending on the occasion, eventers can consider doing themed equestrian events. This in turn helps breathe new life as guests will be surprised on what new themes they will be seeing. Guest will not be able to expect the new themes making them wanting to visit again in the future. A fall harvest theme might cater to your preference or taste which you can consider integrating to your events today. Of course, it is always a good idea to add new design choices to spice things up.

One of the most important factors when it comes to horse ranchers & equestrian eventers is with the accommodation they will be providing to their guests. Without them, attendees will leave with a bad taste in their mouths. As a result, you need to make sure that you will be providing the necessary amounts of places for them to rest. Furniture also have to be displayed the same type of design that you wish to show off to your guests. In such cases, a wooden furniture becomes a very popular option. This can range from chairs, tables, desks and even beds. Make sure to integrate such furniture to your overall design.


Careers that depend upon Keen Vision

One thing you may not have envisioned getting between you and your choice of career is your eyesight however there are plenty of jobs that turn away applicants because of vision and sight deficiencies. Among the top five in this category are listed as follows:

The Fire and Rescue Service

It’s a well-known fact that firefighters have to be tremendously fit – after all, the environment they have to work in is often hot, humid and low in oxygen. It’s not just their bodies that need to be in good shape, however – their eyesight and vision also needs to be able to cope with the demands of a hot and smoky atmosphere.

Different fire and rescue services around the world have different rules regarding the visual aids that their firefighters are permitted to wear, but when firefighters are permitted to wear contact lenses they must be soft contact lenses. This is because rigid (gas permeable) contact lenses can cause both discomfort and even eye sight problems as dust, dirt and smoke can become trapped beneath them and sit on the eye.

Armed Forces

If you’re interested in a career in the Royal Air Force, British Army or Royal Navy it’s very important that you can see what you’re doing – after all, national security could be at stake. The exact sight requirements differ depending on which branch you want to enlist in and the best way to find out if you are eligible is to discuss it with someone at your local careers office.

As a guide, to serve in any branch of the Royal Navy or Royal Air Force your prescription can’t be more than +/- 6 dioptres while in the British Army contact lens or glasses can’t be used to correct vision of more than -7 or +8. Similar requirements exist in the US military as well.

The eyesight requirements for military pilots is particularly strict – applicants to the Army Air Corps in the British Army for example must have visual acuity of 6/12 without glasses and 6/6 with glasses – in addition, the lens power of these glasses can be no more than -0.75 to +1.75, which excludes many people from the job. Some military pilot positions are beginning to accept candidates that have had corrective vision surgery, but those that do require that a year has passed since surgery with stable vision for at least six months.

Commercial Pilot

While the rules for commercial pilots aren’t quite as strict as military pilots, it’s still obviously important to have good eyesight if you’re going to fly a plane of any kind.

A prescription of up to +/-3 dioptres is acceptable, although with visual correction commercial pilots must have 20/20 vision. Commercial pilots can wear contact lenses, but because of the low relative humidity in the cockpit they shouldn’t be high in water content.


It’s a police officer’s job to be aware of everything that’s going on around them. And to be able to do that, they need to see properly. While contact lenses or glasses can be used to correct impaired vision, unaided sight must still be a minimum of 6/36.

Pest Control technician

These are just a few careers that require candidates to have a certain quality of vision and that’s without taking into account the colour vision requirements. A pest control worker must distinguish between safe and contaminated objects and is required to locate insect nests or spores minute in size. Other common tasks may involve spraying chemical solutions, powders, or gases into rooms, onto clothing, furnishings or wood. Setting mechanical traps and place poisonous paste or bait in sewers, burrows, and ditches. Inspecting premises to identify infestation source and extent of damage to property, wall and roof porosity, and access to infested locations. Studying preliminary reports and diagrams of infested area and determine treatment type required to eliminate and prevent recurrence of infestation.

For all of these roles an expert and keen visual focus will be absolutely paramount to both successful task completion and high performance work intensity.


Securing Valuable Horseflesh: Locking Up the Farm

In the recently concluded Olympic Games Rio 2016, equestrian horses are one of the competitions highlights, showcasing their synergetic and cooperative performance alongside the grace and accuracy of the equestrianism talent of the rider.

Competition and race horses are showered with utmost care and treatment as their worth value ranges from hundreds of thousands of dollars to as high as millions. Champion racehorses, for instance, are still fairly expensive even after they retire since their pedigree and special skills are sought after by most breeders.

Horses are without a doubt, highly valuable animals especially in the field of horse racing and equestrian sport. But owning and keeping a horse can be costly. Owners pay quite a lot of money to keep their horses healthy and happy. A basic horse care would include food, boarding, vaccinations, supplements, veterinarian visits, equipment (saddles, halters, buckets, etc.) among others. Yes, it’s not cheap!

With theft happening everywhere nowadays, even the animals are not safe!. Locking up the farm is necessary and highly expensive animals such as horses should also be secured round-the-clock. Horse owners are always on the look-out when it comes to safeguarding their animals. Throughout history, numerous reports have been filed about horses being stolen. Some of these animals were successfully recovered, others end up being dead while being attempted to be rescued, and others were slaughtered so their horse meat can be sold. No doubt such experience would be devastating to the horse owners as they have considered their animal companions as part of their family.

In lieu of these horse thefts, strategies are seriously taken by horse owners to prevent the opportunity of having their horses stolen from them. Here are some reasonable recommendations to consider when it comes to securing valuable horseflesh:

• The location’s facility should have only one access road into the property for vehicles and ensure that it passes near the residence or the security office.
• Should there be other entry points, then it should be securely locked when not in use, and if the need arises to access it, owners or caretakers should have a contact to a 24-hour emergency locksmith
• Setting up of video surveillance systems or cameras that will serve as added 24/7 security. This is a popular choice among stable owners.
• Installation of sensor-operated security method is effective to warn off would be intruders.
• Burglar alarms can be useful, provided that the distance is within the close premise of the owner/handlers quarters.
• Other forms of level-up horse security, are called freeze marking, hoof branding, microchipping and horse passport. This kind of safety measure is offered by professional service providers that specifically caters to horse owners.
• Customary security signage may also be helpful in deterring would-be thieves as they tend to shy away especially if they have full awareness that their crime can lead to early discovery.

All of these combinations of security and safety precautionary measures are practical, convenient, safe and cost-effective, providing the owner with the assurance and peace of mind knowing that their prized possession is safe and properly taken care of.


Family Planning on the Farm

Raising a family in the country or on the farm provides a wealth of opportunities. Children can enjoy more outdoor play, a close-knit community, fresh air, less traffic, contact with nature, sports and many more activities. Some resources are more limited in the bush and on the farm so it helps to know where you can seek support.

When raising young children on the farm, especially for first time parents, many concerns and questions arise – knowing where you can find accurate information can help.

Support networks for rural parents

If you are living remotely out in the bush or on the farm, you may feel lonely or isolated. Building a support network takes time but there are ways for families to build links with the community.

Joining a playgroup is a good way for parents and their kids to meet other families. To find out if there is one in your area, go to Playgroup Australia and click on the link for your state.

Your local council or library may offer activities for children. You might also meet other families at playgrounds and parks.


Options for your child’s care and education vary between areas. Government regulations for childcare and education facilities ensure all Australian children have access to quality education. Distance education is an option for children who live remotely.

Healthcare in rural Australia

To find a health service in your area, go to the National Health Services Directory.

The symptom checker on healthdirect can help determine what kind of assistance you might need. Call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 to talk to a registered nurse, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If your child or family member requires emergency assistance, call triple zero (000).

For further information about health care in rural Australia, see health services. See eHealth support for rural families for information about phone and teleconference health resources.

Financial support for remote families

If accessing necessary specialist care requires travel, reimbursement is available – visit Patient Assisted Travel Schemesand click on the link for your state.

Other financial support for rural families may be available.

Assessment and early intervention

For parents of children under 12 years of age with special needs such as developmental delay, behavioural disorders and high learning needs, assessment and treatment may be available through your local health service.

Find out more on early childhood intervention.

Family and domestic violence

A safe and harmonious living environment is important for child health and development. Family violence is a serious issue that is often hidden in farm communities. It can take courage to come forward and ask for help.

Visit 1800RESPECT for more information. If you or someone else is unsafe right now, call triple zero (000) and ask for help.

Mental health

Mental health problems exist throughout the country. In rural areas, people may feel more isolated with their mental health issues and be unsure of where to look for support. You can access help and support for yourself or your family by:

You can also get help from:

  • eheadspace, a phone and online counselling available for people aged 12-25 – call 1800 650 890.
  • Kids Helplinefor kids and young people aged 5-25 – call 1800 55 1800.
  • Pregnancy, Birth and Baby offers a free phoneor video-call line that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Phone 1800 882 436.